Saturday, October 11, 2014

Disney Trip 2014: Magic Kingdom Day 2

For the third day of our vacation, we were originally planning to take this day off and just hang out at our resort.  But then we signed Daniel up to go on the Keys to the Kingdom tour, a 5 hour backstage tour at Magic Kingdom.  This was a gift to him from us for his birthday.   To go on the tour, he had to have a park ticket for that day.  So a few months ago, I decided to just add another park day for all of us.  After you have purchased 4 days worth of park tickets, it is only $10 more per person per day to add another day.  Why not?  (Disney is really good at convincing you to spend more money!!)

So Daniel left for his tour at 8:00 am, while the girls and I slept in a little bit and hung out at the resort.  We really didn't do too much, but after a few days of being on the go nonstop, we were all ready for some down time.

My original plan for the day had me and the girls eating at the resort food court and then going to Magic Kingdom around 12:30 or so.  But, we ate at the food court the previous evening, and I didn't really want to eat there again.  So I changed the plans for the day!  This day is a great example of how I had a plan, and then I ended up throwing the whole thing out of the window because we just weren't in the mood for what I had planned.  And then it rained later in the day and messed up our plans again!

Instead, we arrived at Magic Kingdom around 11:30.  We had a Fastpass to meet Tinkerbell at 12:40, and I was hoping to just go ahead and wait standby to meet her, since her building is right at the entrance to the park.  But her standby wait was 45 minutes, and we were NOT going to do wait that long.  I decided we would just have to walk back to the front of the park when it was time to use our Fastpass.  So I let the girls pick what they wanted to do first.  They both wanted to ride It's a Small World.  Off to Fantasyland we went!

FYI:  the projected crowd levels for Magic Kingdom on this day were a 3.  And the observed crowd levels were also a 3.  So it was another supposedly quiet day at Magic Kingdom.  However, since we got there at midday, the busiest time of the day, it felt very,very crowded.  There is definitely a big difference in the crowd levels between 9:00 am and noon.

It started to lightly rain on us as we were walking back to It's a Small World.  I quickly parked the stroller and ran with the girls into the ride.  It felt like everyone else in the area did the same, as the queue quickly filled up with people.  I was afraid we would have to wait a long time, but our wait was only 10 minutes.

After finishing the ride, I decided we would just eat lunch at Pinnochio Village Haus since it is right next door, and we could get there without having to go find the stroller and get everyone back in it. I hadn't heard great things about the food, but we weren't really going for gourmet food at this point in the day.  It was 12;00 on the dot.  If I were giving advice to anyone planning a trip, I would say:  don't each lunch during the noon hour, because everyone will be eating lunch then!  Try for 11:00 or 1:30/2:00.  Yet I failed at following my own advice.  As soon as I walked into the super crowded restaurant alone with the girls, I was afraid I had made a big mistake.

We walked to a line on the far left side, where no one was in line to order their food.  (As opposed to the lines in the middle, which were really long.  Why do people always congregate in the middle?)  We got our food surprisingly fast, and I managed to balance it all on a big tray while guiding the girls carefully through the crowded restaurant and searching for an open table.

It was our lucky day!  At Pinnochio Village Haus, there are five tables that overlook the beginning of the It's a Small World ride.  You can eat there and wave at all the boats taking off on the ride.  And as we walked by, one of those tables was open!  What are the chances that one would be open for us, when nearly every table in the whole restaurant was full?  We were super excited, and the girls had so much fun waving at all the boats while we ate.

Next it was time for our Tinker Bell Fastpass.  I was more than happy to skip over the 45 minute wait for this one!  We walked right in to meet Tinker Bell, which made us all very happy!

The skies and the radar were looking very ominous at this point.  It looked like it was going to pour and/or storm at any moment.  Since we were at the front of the park by the train station, I thought we might take a little ride on the train.  Our stroller was huge, and I did not want to take it with us, so I figured we would just ride the train for the full loop, and it would bring us right back to our stroller.  Good idea, right?

Um, no.  It was a very, very bad idea.  We were only on the train a few minutes when we pulled into the Frontierland station.  Then they made an announcement that everyone needed to get off the train.  There was lightning in the area, and the train would no longer be operating.

So now we were stranded without a stroller or a poncho or an umbrella on the other side of the park from our stroller.  With no Daddy to save us!  (He still had about an hour left of his tour).  As we got off the train, I could hear thunder and the skies looked very dark.  I made the girls hurry through Frontierland (they weren't happy about this, but I did NOT want to get stuck with them walking in a  downpour) until we came to the Country Bears Jamboree.  I figured we could watch the show and hopefully the rain would pass quickly.

Everyone in the park must have had the same idea, because there was not an empty seat for that show.  And if you have ever seen the Country Bears show, then you know it isn't a show that is typically full of people!!

When the show was over, we walked outside.  It was not raining.  But it was still thundering, and I could see lightning too.  I decided to make a pit stop for some treats, in case we got caught in a downpour and needed something to cheer us up.  I bought suckers for the girls, and then we started to make our way back to our stroller at the front of the park.

I tried to stay under awnings as much as possible, all while listening to the thunder and seeing the lightning and the dark clouds and just waiting for the rain to pour on us.  My girls deserve huge gold stars for this part of our trip.  They tend to get upset with thunder/lightning, they sometimes complain when they are tired from walking too long, or they may cry when they sense that I am worried about something.  But they did so very good on our whole walk back.  I tried to make it seem like an adventure!  I think the suckers helped.  =)

Here's the amazing part of our story.  Almost an hour after they made us get off the train because of lightning, and it never rained at all during that time.  We walked all the way back to our stroller (and ponchos!) without getting wet.  And then we arrived back at our stroller at the exact same time that Daniel finished his tour.  He had just found the stroller and was on his way to rescue us!

Now it was 2:00, and the rain still looked inevitable.  Daniel had a Fastpass to use at Space Mountain, so we walked (quickly) to Tomorrowland.  The girls and I found a covered area to wait for Daniel, just as it finally started to rain.  It never poured though.  For about 45 minutes, it rained consistently but lightly.  The whole storm that was brewing must have completely blown over us.

It was still raining when Daniel got off Space Mountain, so we opted to ride the People Mover.  Generally, you can just walk on to this ride, but with the rain and many outdoor rides closed, a lot of people were riding the People Mover.  We waited about 10 minutes to get on it.  After that ride, we walked back to Fantasyland and one of the girls favorites:  Dumbo.

By the time we got there and played in the playland, the rain had stopped.  We played, then rode Dumbo again.

Post rain Dumbo Ride

We had a Fastpass to ride the Little Mermaid ride, but Isla did not want to ride it (she was still scared of Ursula).  So Audrey and I went by ourselves.

Then we all stopped for a humongous cinnamon roll at Gaston's Tavern.  It was seriously as big, if not bigger, than Isla's head!  (Although it wasn't all that good...just really big!)  The theming here was fun, as it was just like the movie!

We wanted to try to meet some characters at this point, but we were unable to get in line for the Fairy Godmother or Tiana.  They close off the lines for these characters (who usually only meet for 30-40 minutes at a time, use Kenny the Pirate's character locator to find all character greeting times) really quickly.  So if a character is meeting from 4:00-4:30, and you show up at 4:10.  Chances are their line will already be full.  The key is to get there about 10 minutes before they are scheduled to meet.  It took us a long time to figure it out, after trying to get into closed lines over and over again.

We decided to try Aladdin and Jasmine instead.  We got there at 4:20.  Aladdin and Jasmine were just finishing up a greeting, but then they told us they were scheduled to be back at 4:30.  So Audrey and I got in line.  There was probably at least 15 people in front of us already though, and I knew we were in for a long wait!  However, Audrey was determine to meet them, so I decided that it was worth the wait.  We waited for 32 far the longest wait of our entire trip!

While we were waiting, it started raining pretty hard.  Fortunately our part of the line had just moved under the covered portion of the waiting area, so we were able to avoid getting soaked.  Daniel and Isla were nearby, chatting with one of Daniel's friends that works at Disney.  Isla fell asleep in the stroller, so Audrey and I's long wait, gave Daniel a chance to catch up with an old friend.

We stopped to take a picture of me and the girls in front of the castle to document me surviving a half day at Magic Kingdom with the girls by myself!  Nothing went according to plan, but it all turned out okay.  I would say it was a good day still!!

We walked by Tiana to try to get in her line once again, but once again, it was full.  It was just not meant to be with us and Tiana this trip.  Instead we headed back to Town Hall at the front of the park to use our Fastpass to meet the talking Mickey.  This is the only Mickey in all of Disney World who talks, and it was kind of crazy to hear him talking.  He sounded just like the Mickey Mouse you hear in the cartoon.

  Next up:  A monorail ride to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at Chef Mickey's.


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